Junior Stopka

  • Junior Stopka

Here’s a last-minute way to do good by having fun: local comics Drew Frees, Mike Lebovitz, and Junior Stopka (who tied with Beth Stelling as the Reader‘s pick for best stand-up of 2010) will be featured tonight in a benefit for Ron Shock. A southern-born comedian/storyteller, Shock’s been diagnosed with urethral cancer—which sounds horrific even before you learn it’s rare and aggressive.

I’ve got to admit I never heard of Shock, legend though he’s supposed to be, until I got the notice about the benefit this afternoon. But I’ve been watching videos of him since then. Telling hip jokes and tales in a good-ol’-boy drawl, reminiscing about his prison term in New Orleans, he’s kind of what you might expect if Charles Bukowski and Johnny Cash had a baby and let Lenny Bruce raise it. He’s also got guts: since the diagnosis on December 14, he’s been taping regular “cancer chronicles” that can be seen on Youtube. I say he deserves to live.

The benefit is scheduled for tonight at 10 PM at the Lincoln Lodge, 4008 N. Lincoln. Cost is $10.